Gawanas transfered to Poverty Eradication Ministry

21 Apr 2016 17:40pm
WINDHOEK, 21 APR (NAMPA) - Former African Union (AU) Commissioner for Social Affairs, Advocate Bience Gawanas has been transferred to the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare as a special advisor.
Gawanas joined the ministry as special advisor to Minister Zephania Kameeta last week.
She served as special advisor on social issues in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, before her transfer.
Confirming the transfer to Nampa on Wednesday, Press Secretary in the Presidency Albertus Aochamub said Gawanas' transfer to the new ministry is based on her expertise on social affairs, coupled with her international and Pan African experience.
Gawanas also confirmed her reassignment, which was effective 13 April 2016.
“I am very much interested on policy issues and development, and how we link Namibia to United Nation (UN) sustainable agenda.
“I always make myself available wherever people think my expertise, education and experience can be used. As you know, my agenda on the African continent was on poverty eradication,” she said.
She pointed out that she enjoyed working with the previous ministry team and will still be available to assist in the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
Gawanas, 57, worked as a lawyer at the Legal Assistance Centre from 1990 to 1991.
She was also a full-time member of the Public Service Commission (1991-1996), part-time lecturer on gender law at the University of Namibia, a member and chair of the Law Reform and Development Commission, as well as member of the Board of the Namibian Central Bank (1991-1996).
She was appointed Namibia's Ombudswoman (1996-2003), and from 2003 she was the African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs, a position she held until her return back home recently.
As a former AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, Gawanas' work involved advocacy and the harmonisation of regional and continental policies relating to social development.
During her tenure at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, she developed policy instruments, projects and programmes on social development, including the Social Policy Framework, and the Maputo Plan of Action on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.
Gawanas holds a LLB Honours from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom (UK), and an Utter Barrister Degree from the Council of Legal Education School of Law/Lincolns Inn, UK.
She also holds an Executive MBA from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Gawanas worked as Barrister of the English and Irish Bar and was an Advocate to the Namibian High Court.